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Crisp, juicy, and super-sweet, the Fuji apple is a flavor favorite in Asia, and it has been climbing the popularity charts in the U.S. as well—giving Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala a run for their money. Having a Fuji Apple Tree in your backyard orchard will put this tasty treat right outside your door. This is snacking you can feel good about, too! Scientists continue to make new discoveries about the benefits of regular apple eating, from blood sugar regulation to cancer prevention. This mild variety is gentle on tender stomachs and has been known to help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux disease.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Contrary to popular belief, the Fuji Apple Tree wasn’t named for Mt. Fuji but for the town of Fujisaki, 500 miles to the north of the famous peak. It was developed at a governmental research station there in 1939. Researchers chose two American Apple Trees as the parents: one was the celebrated Red Delicious, and the other was a beloved heirloom called ‘Ralls Genet’ (or ‘Ralls Janet’), which Thomas Jefferson had grown at Monticello. From this cross, 787 seedlings were grown, and then inferior ones were weeded out one by one until Fuji emerged as the clear winner. Fuji was introduced in Japan in 1962, but the fruits didn’t reach American markets until the 1980s.
Fuji apples have an incredibly long shelf life, which means that they’re available year-round in stores. What this also means is that you never really know how long supermarket Fujis have been sitting around. With your own tree, freshness is guaranteed, and each sun-ripened fruit you pluck is bursting with robust, satisfying flavor. You’re in control!
How to Grow
The Fuji Apple Tree is an especially good choice for backyard growers living in climates with long, warm growing seasons. The fruit requires plenty of sunshine in order to ripen properly, so you may want to think twice about growing Fuji if you live in an area where fall days are typically cloudy. Harvest is later than that of most other Apples. Plant this tree in a sunny, open area with well-drained soil. Like most Apple Trees, Fuji is subject to certain pests and diseases, and it is particularly vulnerable to fire blight. If you need some help on this, our growers are standing by at firstname.lastname@example.org to advise you on how to protect your tree from attack using the safest but most effective means available.
Questions & Answers
Q: When will I get fruit from my new Fuji Apple?
A: The answer to this question depends on whether your tree is on dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard rootstock and the age of your tree. Bower and Branch trees are grown on a semi-dwarfing rootstock and come to you well established. You can expect your first crop in 3 years with a substantial harvest in 5 years.
In the first two years you may get some apples forming but it is important that these be removed as early as possible. Bower & Branch Growers do allow for a small handful to remain, no more than 10 apples evenly spaced across the entire tree. Remove all other apples as soon as you recognize them as apples while they're still young (before mid-June), be sure to space at least 6” between the few you allow to develop.
If all the fruit is left to mature, the fruit will use important nutrients and energy that your tree needs to develop a root and branch system. Letting fruit mature on your tree in the first two years may result in serious stunting in the development of your tree which will negatively impact future harvest potential.
By year 3 you can leave the fruit to develop on the side branches and just remove the fruit from the central leader. This action allows for strong central leader development for future production of apples. This will give you around two dozen apples to enjoy in year 3. By year 4 you can harvest larger and larger crops each year.
Supporting the central leader development will encourage additional primary branches to form for the final overall structure. Apple tree pruning, when done properly will allow for a strong primary structure to enhance harvest, fruit counts and minimize disease.
A mature semi-dwarf apple can produce 5 bushels of fruit each year (126 medium sized apples in a bushel). Apple Trees can live for more than 100 years so your apple tree could be there for years of enjoyment.
Q: Why do you recommend Fuji with all of these apple varieties to choose from?
A: While every apple has some special characteristics that make it recommendable, Fuji has some special features and benefits that earn inclusion in many home orchards. Fuji Apple was hybridized in Japan in the 1930’s from 2 great American selections, Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet, a variety grown by Thomas Jefferson! Fuji first and foremost is a great eating apple. This late ripening apple is also a great baking apple, being firm and crisp. It is one of the sweetest varieties available and stores very well.
It is in the top 15 favorite apple varieties in the US and in the top 5 varieties in China. Fuji is best in Zones 5 through 8, it likes warmer climates and does not adapt well to climates like those in Northern New England. If cider making is on your list of reasons for choosing apple varieties, match Fuji with Granny Smith and McIntosh or Cortland for a great blended cider.
Q: What do I need to pollinate a Fuji Apple?
A: To get a bumper crop from your Fuji Apple each year Bower & Branch recommends another apple variety within 100 feet to cross - pollinate (two of the same Apple tree will not provide cross-pollination). The two apple varieties you choose will cross-pollinate each other and both trees will provide you with a great harvest each year. Braeburn, Cortland, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Macoun and Rubinette are very compatible with Fuji for good cross-pollination.
Other pollination partners for your Fuji apple can be native wild crabapples within 100’. Perhaps your neighbors are already helping you out! Crabapples, especially the white varieties are great providers of pollen for apples! Bower & Branch recommends Donald Wyman, Weeping Red Jade, Sargent, Madonna, Spring Snow or Sugar Tyme as great crabapple selections to pollinate your apple. These varieties are grown for flowering and their tremendous landscape value and do not produce edible fruit for people, but the birds adore them!
Q: How big will my Fuji Apple get?
A: Apple tree size is controlled by what root stock the tree is grafted on to. We grow our apples on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15’ in height and width before you prune to form.
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